Area priest to appear on ‘Jeopardy!’ Tuesday

WHEELING – Members of St. Michael Parish will gather at 7 p.m. Tuesday to watch the Rev. William Matheny, their former associate pastor, appear on the TV game show “Jeopardy!”

Matheny competed on the nationally televised program in February but has honored his promise not to reveal the outcome of the competition until after his appearance airs.

Even though Matheny recently was named associate pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Moundsville and St. Jude Church in Glen Dale, his friends at St. Michael will celebrate his TV appearance. The public is invited to join the “Jeopardy!” party, which will take place at the Angelus Center, next to St. Michael Church and parish school at 1225 National Road.

Becoming a contestant has been a lifelong dream for Matheny, who has been a fan since “Jeopardy!” was a daytime program hosted by Art Fleming.

“My grandfather thought I could be on ‘ Jeopardy!’ some day, so he gave me books on U.S. geography, the presidents, history, science and any topic he thought would be helpful,” the priest said. “My mind is full of so many useless tidbits of information.”

Before he qualified for the program, Matheny had to pass two tests, complete an in-person interview and compete in an abbreviated “Jeopardy!” game. He was notified in January that he would appear on “Jeopardy!” within one month.

Matheny immediately embarked on a three-week crash course to bone up on two areas in which he considered himself weak: Shakespeare and alcoholic drinks.

Matheny traveled to Los Angeles in February to tape his “Jeopardy!” appearance. He encourages anyone who enjoys playing trivia games to take the next online “Jeopardy” qualification test, scheduled for early 2014.

The event at the Angelus Center is open to the public with no admission fee. Light snacks will be served. There will be a bucket for freewill donations, and canned goods are always appreciated for the 18th Street Center.